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How to brief web design for creative industries

Web design for creative industries presents an interesting conundrum. The combination of lockdown, tier restrictions, and social distancing has led to an inevitable drop in footfall for art galleries, museums, cinemas, festivals, concerts, and many more. However, this isn’t just a problem for the creatives that occupy those spaces; a public starved for cultural content in the real world is subsequently forced to look elsewhere for their creative fix.


While the demand is at an all-time high and the day to day pressure of maintaining a creative space has slowed down; could now be the perfect time to move real-world creative enterprises online? Let’s take a look at some of the things your website could be missing out on, and talk about how to brief web design for creative industries.


It’s all about the design


You should never judge a book by its cover – but you will, so you should probably have a nice looking cover. It’s difficult to overstate how important the way your website looks really is when thinking about what it means to new visitors. 


Consider the hours of planning that go into designing the physical space of an art gallery. You’ve painstakingly ensured the placement and lighting are just right because that’s going to have nearly as much impact on how visitors see the work as the work itself. The same goes for your website:

  • 94% of people say their first impression of a website is based on the design
  • If a website’s layout is unattractive 38% of visitors will stop engaging with it
  • 88% of web visitors are less likely to return to a website after a bad experience

All this can be condensed into a very simple sentiment; your site needs to look amazing. Those within the creative arts might have a pretty strong steer on what does and doesn’t look right for your project, which is all well and good – but it does lead us onto another very important point.


Wave goodbye to DIY


Within the creative arts, a strong DIY ethos is pretty common. You have a vision, and if you can see it out yourself; magic. However, with all due respect, you should be aware that your aspirations might be slightly ahead of what the off-the-shelf tools can provide.


A creative web design agency will help you take your vision to the next level, working with you to build a website that enhances your real-world offering. From virtual showrooms to integrated social media compatibility, the design of your site can help stimulate emotions and feelings as a natural online extension of your brand.


A design-led website that tells a story helps visitors stay focused, keeping them on your site for longer. 


Don’t underestimate UX


A web design agency will work with you to nail down the way your user personas are using your site and what for. Understanding what it is they’re looking for is the key to creating a positive user experience on your site – and might just help you better understand your audience as a whole.


A typical UX workshop will help an agency answer the following questions:

  • Who is your audience?
  • How do they find and go to your website? 
  • What is your audience looking for, and how quickly are they finding it?
  • Where are they dropping off, and how do we stop them?

If a visitor has a positive experience on your site they’re more likely to stay longer, make return visits and bring their friends with them. When you consider that every pound invested in UX brings a near £100 return, it’s safe to say that when you’re looking to provide customer satisfaction, UX marks the spot… get it? 


What’s the main purpose of your site?


Thinking about the user experience of your site raises a huge issue a lot of websites run into, be it from the creative arts or not; what do you want your website to do? There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to web design, no matter what industry you’re in; it all depends on what the site is for. For example:

  • Showcase what you do

Solution: A clean and clutter-free design will draw in the eye and help keep the focus where you want it. 

  • Drive footfall

Solution: A site structured with a clear user journey, offering plenty of reasons to visit and providing the information necessary for people to do so.

  • Tell your story

Solution: Connect with people via your content, making sure your blogs or updates are clearly accessible – keeping your audience an active participant in the story of your organisation. 

  • Sell your products or services

Solution: If you’re within the creative industry, it might not be as simple as “selling your stuff” – but you’ll have some way of making money – and people need to see it! 


Want to take your creative brand online?


When it comes to web design for creative industries, we’ve been there, done that, and got the portfolio. Literally. So we can help. We did it for John Hansard Gallery, designing a user experience that reflected the feeling of their physical gallery with an immersive design style that allowed the work to take centre stage. It’s been vital for keeping their audience engaged during a year where visiting the gallery in person has been impossible.

Ensuring the design didn’t draw attention away from the content was also our focus for So Young music magazine when we created their gallery-style site. The design balanced their distinctive vibrant look with a minimal style to emphasise the richness of their content.


We’re lucky to have worked with so many organisations in the creative industry – so be sure to check out our projects page. Who knows, you might find yourself some inspiration for your next website!